POWELL RIVER B.C- The 2019 budget for the regional hospital district was approved Monday night.

The budget included funding for $7,000 that will go towards the proposed Powell River General Hospital garden initiative.

The project is in early stages but CaroleAnn Leishman, chair of the board, says they have no problem providing funding for the garden.

“They want to do a really lovely fenced in garden space for people to go and sit, for people to do some gardening of some herbs and possibly fruit, they definitely want to make it an edible garden, (and) it’s a beautiful looking concept.”

The board also approved $145,000 for the Powell River General Hospital for the acquisition of minor capital projects and equipment.

Leishman says the budget also included funding for the Willingdon Creek Village, which is a new hospice facility owned by the RHD.

“We took out a mortgage to build the facility and every year we pay down that debt over the life of the mortgage, its just basically paying down the capital of that building,” added Leishman.

The Regional Hospital District owns Willingdon Creek Village, but all the operating costs are covered by Vancouver Island Coastal Health.

Overall, the 2019 budget is $2,054,783 which is a $10,243 decrease from 2018.